Afterschool Evaluation

Evaluation resources, including a glossary and highlights from research on afterschool.

A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

The Afterschool Alliance has produced a variety of evaluation-related materials over the past 15 years. Some provide an overview of the impacts of afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs, while others dig into specific areas of interest, including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and social emotional learning. 

Highlights of the Impact of Afterschool Programs

What Does the Research Say About Afterschool?

Afterschool and summer learning programs inspire students to learn, keep children and teenagers safe, and give parents peace of mind. This fact sheet provides a small sampling of findings—from meta-analyses to program-level evaluations—that show that there is demonstrable evidence of the positive impact programs have on students’ academics, school-day attendance, engagement in learning, and behavior.

What Does the Research Say About 21st Century Community Learning Centers?

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) are afterschool and summer learning programs that are locally-designed school and community solutions that help kids learn and grow, keep children and teenagers safe, and support families to balance work with home. This fact sheet provides a small sampling of findings from evaluations of the federally-funded Community Learning Centers programs that demonstrate the positive impact programs across the country are having on students’ academics, school-day attendance, engagement in learning, and behavior.


This glossary includes terms used in the Afterschool Impacts Database to help you navigate the search function and find the information that best suits your needs. Suggestions for additional terms to include in the glossary? Email Us!

Afterschool Alliance Evaluation Resources


Evaluating Afterschool, Part 1: Tips for Getting Started from Dallas Afterschool (September 2016)
In the first blog of the series, "Evaluating Afterschool," which asks afterschool program providers to share tips and lessons learned on their evaluation journey. This blog is by Rachel Johns, the research and evaluation manager at Dallas Afterschool.

Evaluating Afterschool, Part 2: Evaluation as a Mission-Driven Investment (November 2016)
In the second blog of the series, Jason Spector, senior research & evaluation manager for After-School All-Stars, explain why evaluation is beneficial to afterschool programs. He also shares his tips for how to decide if your organization is ready to evaluate!


Measuring the Impact of STEM Learning in Afterschool (November 2016)
How can we understand and measure the true impact of afterschool STEM experiences? In this webinar we will hear about three innovative efforts—Connected Learning, Activated Learner, and Longitudinal—that are studying how learning, particularly STEM learning, develops across time and space, and how afterschool programs contribute to that process.

Are You Ready to Assess Social and Emotional Development? (May 2016)
In this webinar, Deb Moroney and Michael McGarrah from American Institutes for Research (AIR) joined us to talk about Ready to Assess, a suite of tools that can help afterschool and education leaders, practitioners, and policymakers decide whether and how to assess social and emotional development. Kristin Romens, Senior Consultant at The Learning Agenda, discussed the progress and challenges educators face around implementing social and emotional learning best practices.

Creating the Conditions for Social and Emotional Learning (February 2016)
American Institutes for Research (AIR) spoke about their resources that support the application of best practices in social and emotional learning in afterschool. Also covered in the webinar is how the Expanded Learning 360/365 group, in collaboration with the California School-Age Consortium, is using AIR's Self-Reflection Tool for building quality in afterschool systems throughout California.


Taking a Deeper Dive into Afterschool-Positive Outcomes and Promising Practices (February 2014)
To better understand promising practices in the afterschool field, this report reviews outcomes associated with participation in afterschool programs, synthesizing high-quality evaluations of ten afterschool programs, explores research spanning hundreds of programs to present a summary of promising practices of afterschool programs, and provides specific examples of ways in which the afterschool programs employ each promising practice.

Examining the Impact of Afterschool STEM Programs (July 2014)
This paper summarizes evaluation data from a selection of strong afterschool STEM programs, providing a snapshot of the types of substantive impacts afterschool programs are having on youth. Check out our 2016 update for more programs and updated evaluation data.

A Framework of Youth Outcomes for STEM Learning (January 2013)
What kinds of student outcomes are reasonable to expect from afterschool STEM programs? This report presents a consensus set of developmental outcomes gleaned from the research literature, and afterschool experts and stakeholders. The framework also includes indicators of progress toward these outcomes, as well as types of evidence that can demonstrate the impact of STEM programming in afterschool.